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Genealogy of the Woodcock Valley

Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania

Bowers School

 The following information is taken from a packet that was distributed to local teachers when school groups would attend the Bowers School for a day-long field trip. It is unknown who prepared this information:

Very little information was uncovered concerning the very early history of the school. It is recorded that Isaac Bowers, from Berks County, and Abraham Grubb from Bucks County, came to this valley in the early part of 1800. The former purchased a farm from John Free, and the latter from the Hartsock property, on which was located Fort Hartsock, famous in the history of Woodcock Valley in Indian times. It could therefore be logically assumed that the name of the one-room brick school was probably originated from this Bowers family, who may have then yet owned the land on wich the structure was built. No specific date was located when the school was erected or first used.

It is believed that this educational facility was preceeded by an earlier log school which was apparently situated approximately 1/4 mile to the North of the Bowers location, and which was called the Garner School. Africa's History of Huntingdon County indicates that the first Lutheran Congregation in what is now Penn Township was organized as early as 1804 by Rev. Frederick Haas, a licentiate of Pennsylvania Synod, at Garner's School house, and this same history further indicates that in 1881 Penn Township had eight schools running for five months (out of the year) with a total attendance of 309. However, no locations were named for the eight schools.

The Old Stone Church located adjacent to the Bowers School was erected about 1838. Other bits of information pieced together by the Committee leads us to believe the school was probably built sometime after 1883, and did, in fact, replace the log Garner School.

Several of our older citizens who were at the Bowers School have been able to recall some of the teachers who taught prior to 1900, but were unable to place them in any chronological order. From 1900, we are reasonably sure of the tenures as the educational leaders of their ________.

Copies of attendance lists from 1923/24 and later years were found available from the records of the Huntingdon Area School District. No particular information could be gleaned from the records at the Huntingdon County Court House regarding deeds or early history.

Everyone who attended Bowers School has fond memories of their school days, and most of us retain some particular memories about our experiences when we attended school - whether it is the deep snows, sled riding on the hill nearby, those softball games at recess, falling in the creek nearby, carrying water from Grubb's or Weller's Spring for the school water jug, getting the annual Christmas tree and trimming it, the Christmas programs, picnics on the last day of school - whatever it may be...AND, just about everyone remembers playing or eating lunch under the tree near the road which had an unusual exposed root formation - a good place to hide when you played Hide & Seek or Cowboys and Indians. And how about those COLD SEATS in the outhouse? But that big wood paddle with the holes in it could warm your sitter if you got into trouble. MANY, MANY are the memories which we may recall and share with our friends on this memorable occassion.

According to the record, the school was closed in the year 1950, and thereafter Penn Township children rode the busses to the newly renovated Woodcock Valley Elementary School at McConnellstown.

The Bowers School structure as it stands today is truly an historic monument of memories to all of us who attended there and received all or part of our elementary education.

It would be hoped that sufficient interest will prevail to preserve this structure as part of the heritage and history of the Woodcock Valley.

It is presently owned and maintained by the Old Stone Church Cemetery Association.

Teachers at the Bowers School

The information below is taken from the same document as the one mentioned above:

Prior to 1900 (Alphabetically):

  • Elmer Boring
  • Ada Heath
  • Delia Hoover
  • Blanche Lininger
  • Miss MacDonald
  • Helen Morgan
  • Newton Plumber
  • Annie Sorrick
  • Brook Walb
  • George Weaver

It is possible there were others unknown to the Committee.

After 1900:

 Teacher's Name



John Grove


James Brumbaugh


Nevin Fouse



Sam Taylor


Ella M. Lininger


Goldie Fraker


Blanche Speck


Edna Heffner



Harriet & Lorenzo Norris


Clair Boyer


Mary Abbot


Miss McElwain (substitute)




James Brumbaugh


Mabel Laughlin



Mary Garner Hunter



Elby Boring


Amelia Geissinger



Ruth Briggs


Rosina Lininger


Thelma Briggs


Hazel Crum




Elizabeth Dallard


Anna Lykem


Anna Quinn



A. Isabel Bigelow


J. Allen Isett


Ella J. Criswell





Amelia Hampton




The photo above is from 1898, and was included in the photos of Della (Brumbaugh) Garner (1896-1989). Those known in the photo include: Back Row: William "Doc" Garner, Samuel Garhart, Emory Zook, Anna Garner, Unknown, Agnes Garner, Nora Garhart, Edgar Garner, Susan Garner, Unknown man with beard. Middle row: Unknown man in overcoat, Ernest Hood, Carl Hood, Gretna Hood, Margaret Garner, Sarah Garner, Frank Garner, unknown girl, unknown boy. First Row: all unknown. Teacher Brook Walb is seated.

This photo is from 1903-1904 school year and includes Back Row: Margie Garnart, Grace Boller, Agnes Garner, Teacher Cora Isett. Middle row: Homer Garner, Lucy Boller, Howard Brumbaugh, John Eckley, Rachel Garner, Mary Brumbaugh, Anna Boller, Frank Garner. Front Row: Roy Myers, Carl Grubb, Ralph Eckley, Harry Brumbaugh, Ruth Garner, Della Brumbaugh, Blanche Myers (Moyer), Verna Hetrick, Martha Grubb.

The photo above is from 1910-1911. Back Row: Teacher Mary Donelson, Ruth Garner, Lucy Boller, Rachel Garner, Della Brumbaugh, Blanche Corbin, Flora McCall. Third Row: Harry Brumbaugh, David Young. Second Row: Carl Grubb, Verna Hetrick, Ruth Young, Martha Grubb, Ethel Isett, Pearl Waite, Gage Myers. Front Row: John Isett, George Young, Harold Grubb, Harold Isett, Clair Mark, Harvey Isett, Harry Hetrick, Lucille Thom, Mildred Waite, Pearl Hetrick, Kathryn Grubb.

The photo above is from 1914. Front row: Elby Waite, Wilmer B. Myers, John Brumbaugh, Merle Isett, Allen Isett. Second row: Harold Grubb, Clair Isett, Clair Marks, John Isett, George Young, Harold Isett, Ethel Isett Norris, Mildred Waite, Pearl Waite Young, Gertrude Hunter Lynn, Catherine Grubb Horton, Gertrude Grubb Householder, Dorothy Myers Beachey, Sarah Butts, Martha Grubb. Third row: Harry Brumbaugh, Harvey Isett, Gage Myers, John Hunter, David Young, Howard Brumbaugh, Flora Garner, Blanche Corbin Knode, Carl Grubb, Della Brumbaugh Garner, Ruth Garner, Flora McCall Gump, Ruth Young Thompson, Rachel Garner. Lorenzo Norris, teacher.

The year of this photo is not known, nor are the students identified, but Edythe Horton was the teacher. She taught at the Bowers School in different years, and later was Mrs. Grubb. The photo was labeled with her last name as Horton, so it might be prior to her marriage in 1915.

This photo is from 1929-1930. Back Row: Warren Isett, Winifred Norris, Margaret Beaver, Pearl Isett, Teacher Helen Morgan, Loretta Grubb, Geraldine Isett, Eloise Isett. Second Row: Ralph Garner, Pearl Scott, June Isett, Adaline Norris, Ralph Isett, William Scott, Harry Hanks, Cloyd Grubb, Phyllis Fouse. Front Row: Gerald Grubb, Donald Waite, Roy Scott.

The year of this group is not known. The names include: First Row: Lillian Grove, Kirby Grubb, Edna Shetrom, Gerry Hood, Dolly Thompson. Second Row: Bob Thompson, Isabel, Eugene, Jean, Dick Hoover, Dot, Willard. Third Row: Dolly Norris, Robert Grove, Ruthie, Janet, Jim, Isabel, Donald Grubb. Fourth Row: Betty, Warren Grubb, Dot, Chloe Grove, Clyde, Irene, John Norris. Fifth Row: Junior Stinson, Ed Thompson, Junior Hoover.

The above pages are from a souvenir booklet that students received for the 1905-1906 school year.

Chloe Garner taught four years at the Bowers School.

This photo was taken in 1931, when she was teaching

at the Upper Corner School.

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